Artists and creatives face innumerable challenges given that their career path often doesn’t come with a playbook, a steady paycheck or any form of safety net. It’s definitely not easy and so we asked a few of the artists and creatives we admire to talk to us about why they chose to pursue an artistic or creative career.

Keyana James | Beauty Content Creator/Cosmetologist

When I think of artistic or creative the first thing that comes to mind is a free spirited person. That’s exactly what I am, I love to express myself through my art I feel like that’s the best way I can be understood. Honestly I feel like that’s why I was placed on this earth to share my creativity. When I was younger my mom and family always told me that I was always performing, always wanted to be the center of attention. My creativity allows me to have a voice and be seen. Communication is something that a lot of people including my self struggle with because of anxiety. Read more>>

Joseph Talley | Music Artist

I’ve always wanted to start something from scratch and present it for others to appreciate. Whether it’s drawing or creating music, I would seek criticism from other in order to grow. Soon art would became an outlet of mine whenever I didn’t know how to speak on issues. Creating something the represents how I feel is way easier than speaking on it. Read more>>

Courtney Roy | Jeweler

What was your thought process behind starting your own business? I really wanted to have the independence to grow without any limits to my earning potential. I have a really strong work ethic, so as an employee I was always getting small bonuses and employee-of-the-month perks. These “perks” really just amounted to a pat on the back and I realized that no matter how hard I worked my income would always be capped by the boss’s bottom line. Entrepreneurship was really a path for me to take the brakes off and create my own destiny. Read more>>

Joshua Morata | Music Man & New Age Romantic

Initially it was to gain some form of public attention. I just wanted someone to notice me and say “he seems cool”- Starting out I was making beats at 13-14 years old and so on, I wanted to be famous and nothing more…looking back at those days now I was pretty cocky and I didn’t know what I was truly doing. By the time I was 15, I got into songwriting and actually utilizing my voice as a means to vent out my problems- ‘Round that age you’re just frustrated with everything and you need something to help you let it all out; Issues ranging from first relationships to my feelings on High School. Moving forward I started seeing music as a “conduit of expression”, at least with my recent stuff, that statement’s more so apparent than when I started. Read more>>

MarQ Soul | Singer and Musician

As a child I have always loved music and enjoy playing instruments and singing at church and school concerts but always considered it as a side hobby. I was really involved in sports and other activities and never considered pursuing music professionally. Even through college, I pursued a business degree in finance and strayed away from music as I never wanted music wanted music to feel like work. But as i matriculated through adulthood, I got the pull to get my life together and focus on my gift and got the word from God that my gift of music was going to help me focus. Read more>>

Martha DeFlorio | Floral Designer

It actually took me a long time to decide that I wanted to pursue a creative career, my story is not traditional at all! As a kid in grade school, I was a straight A student, loved making art, and I always felt happiest when I was drawing or spending time in nature! Once I got to high school, I quieted this part of myself to fit in and prioritized all of my free time on friends and having fun. To be honest, I was a little rebellious and I skipped school a lot! Oops! After graduating, Read more>>

Kayla Almendarez | Professional Makeup Artist

I pursued an artistic/creative career because the everyday things didn’t challenge me. I found it easy to learn something standard and then execute. But what challenged me was being creative. I never feel like I’m in a rut because being creative allows me to continuously pull from the world around me. It took a long time to admit I was good at my traditional jobs because it didn’t take much effort or discipline. Read more>>

Caliyah Valentine | Fashion Stylist & Creative Director

I have always had a love for fashion and putting different elements of an outfit together to make it all work cohesively. One of the many things I love about fashion is that there are no rules and that there isn’t a right or wrong way to do it, which allows me to experiment and get as creative as I would like. I enjoy expressing myself and developing ideas through fashion. As a stylist, I get an indescribable joy when I can help someone convey there ideas and personality through their clothing. Read more>>

Sabrina Rowe Holdsworth | Celebrity Hairstylist, Makeup Artist & Founder of NTRL by Sabs

I chose to pursue a both creative and artistic career because it was truly the best option for me to do something I could excel in that I loved. I think back to the saying, “If you do something you love you will never work a day in your life.” I don’t think it’s 100% accurate if you’re doing it right, but it’s pretty close. Working hard in a creative field is still very much hard work but the spoils are great. I am someone whose love language is acts of service. Being a hairstylist, makeup artist, and cosmetic formulator are all iterations of service for others. Read more>>

Nia Jackson | Artist

I chose to be a professional artist because I realized that creating art was more than a hobby; art is my passion. I didn’t always know that I would have a creative career, but my mother is an artist; she always encouraged me to express myself creatively and follow my passions in life. I’ve explored various facets of art (makeup artistry, art education, medical illustration, and various forms of studio art). Painting is where I have found my love for expressing my imagination on canvas. I’m currently a full-time artist and graduate student at SCAD (Savannah College of Art & Design) pursuing my M.F.A. Often, “chasing your dreams” can be a little intimidating, but it can also be fulfilling. Deciding to pursue art was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Read more>>

DJ Nyquil | Entertainer

Our culture has a stagnant and outdated idea that success has to come from going to school, getting a 9-5, and working hard for minimum gains just to get by. No passion, just hard work. I, for one, never cared for that thought process. I love my profession of being a DJ, and I make enough money to live comfortably by doing just that. Read more>>

Brent Jackson | Filmmaker & Photographer

From a very young age I took to the visual arts like a duck to water. My father loved to draw, as did my uncle, and my mother is an author/screenwriter… so naturally that same flame of creativity was passed on to me. I grew up seeing all of these different forms of art and began to create my own as a result. Before I knew it, I found myself deeply in love with animation, photography, film and videography. I knew without a doubt in my mind that I’d want to pursue a career field doing one of these things, because my heart and mind are constantly fueling this passion to create something that I’m proud of and that other people can enjoy. Read more>>

Patrick Martian | Artist/Illustrator

I honestly felt from a very young age what I came here to do was to make art and create. As time goes on I find different mediums that invigorate my spirit.So far my absolute favorite medium is pen and ink! Making a career from what I love is truly a gift that keeps giving. I love drawing monsters and deformed beings so much. I love the reactions people get when they see something i’ve done. I never know what to expect with people and how they perceive my work which is exciting to me and enriching. Read more>>

Spirit “SOUL” Butterfly | Entrepreneur | Investor | Musician | Beauty and Fitness Consultant

I truly feel that the artistic and creative world chose me, rather than me pursuing this career… I answered the call when I took in my first breath here on this marvelous platform we call Earth! Read more>>

Nikiiyah Gest | Artist, Writer, & Entrepreneur

I’ve had a passion for art and storytelling since I was a child. My parents encouraged me to major in fine arts in college, but I didn’t think I could make a career out of it. I was a student athlete and was determined to become a teacher and volleyball coach. I continued to pursue my teacher education at Ohio University primarily because it felt “comfortable”. I knew I could be a great role model and I love children! My last major art project was my senior year of high school in 2015. I didn’t touch a canvas or sketch book until May 2019. I started doodling to pass the time and before I knew it, creating was all I could think about. Read more>>

MBF Jah | Musical artist

It was just a way for me to express myself how I feel what’s on my mind cause I don’t really like to talk I don’t have a lot of friends either I got like 1 friend literally. Read more>>

CookieBoi | Rapper, Actor, Baker

I’ve wanted to start recording music for a few years now. Wiz Khalifa & Taylor Gang were my main inspiration when it came to the decision to take music seriously. The day Mac Miller passed.” RIP Mac Miller” something just told me to start recording. I had a friend named Jamie Matthews and he gave me a computer with a software called Cubase and I started recording in my closet. Read more>>

Alan Davis | Al Davis (Southern Soul Artist)

I pursued an artist career because it was at the age of 5 years old when my mother and father bought me an organ keyboard in which I feel in love with and from there a energy force was created in Macon, Georgia. I watched my belated father, James Davis, perform in a male traveling group and simultaneously I would listen to my mother playing and singing blues songs. So I became a product of their environment. Read more>>

Justine O’Kelley | CEO of Haven Productionz LLC and Manager at Gotham City Bakery LLC

When I was young, my mother was heavily involved in non-for-profit work with the city. I watched her and sometimes even helped her organize street fairs, block parties, festivals and the like. When I was 20 years old, I began bartending in Lower eastside of Manhattan at an old 80’s club called The Pyramid. Here I began learning how to promote events, work on flyers, manage dancers and coordinate with other promoters and DJ’s. I had a healthy network of friends that were also in the industry. Every event is different, there is nothing new under the sun, but I was willing to do something just a little different with the experience learned. Read more>>

Coko Buchanan | Hairstylist/Future Barber & Custom Clothing Designer

The reason I chose to pursue an artistic and creative career as a hairstylist and clothing designer is because it’s a reflection of who I am. I found my purpose within what I do. It allows me to express myself in the most purest forms. I love helping people and making them feel and look good! It gives me a chance to connect with like minded people. It helps me to be more open minded to their feedbacks and opinions. It helped me to be more understanding of others along with myself. What I do is apart of my ministry because I am able to have real conversations with my clients and speak life into them. Read more>>

Kadejah Sheffield | Makeup artist

My purpose of pursuing an artistic career was due to me doing my own makeup at 16. Having a business in makeup allows myself to help women enhance their features and service the surrounding Gwinnett area. I like being creative and seeing my work on other faces. And, it also shows my progress every time I do someone’s makeup. It’s very thrilling and motivating. Read more>>

Stephanie LaFai | Candle Creator & Auesome Mommy

Artistic/Creative career is something I believe I was born with . I’ve always been drawn to the bright colors that represent Caribbean culture . Fashion . Art . Being a Libra I’m sure contributes to that . With candle making , being able to blend creative scents and coming up with formulas and making something beautiful, gives me joy . It relaxes me . It is also something that came natural to me . I love dressing candles . Read more>>

Ja’marius Leaphart | Internet’s favorite cousin&Public figure

Being a creative means more than just posting good stuff on social media. It means living a life where everything could be turned into content. I pursued this career because I have been through a lot and my only goal is to use my story and the wisdom I gained to motivate others to keep going no matter what life throws at them. In this day and age a lot of content creators or public figures use their platform to bully others or push their hidden agendas. In a society where that is present, I just want to be a light to others to let them know there is still hope. Read more>>